Do you think president elect Obama would invite Abraham Lincoln, perhaps America’s greatest leader, to join his administration?
Despite Obama’s enthusiastic embrace of Lincoln, it is unlikely Honest Abe would pass muster given the 63-question application all potential Obama hires must complete. His answers to many of those questions may finger him as a modern day PR time bomb.
If the incoming administration even considered Lincoln for a high profile job, pundits and 24-hour news networks would howl in protest. They’d label him a homosexual, who pals around with drunkards and lunatics—and that’s just the half of it.
“Who vetted this guy?” They would scream.
But don’t take my word for it—take President Lincoln’s. Here are seven items from the Obama application, and how Lincoln might be forced to answer them.
#10: Please list and, if readily available, provide a copy of each book, article, column or publication … you have authored, individually or with others. …
Phew. That’s a tall order, let’s see … I once wrote a series of anonymous editorials for the Sangamon Journal mocking the Illinois state auditor, which ultimately resulted in his challenging me to a duel. (We never did.)
I also wrote a number of satirical and bawdy pieces for that newspaper under the pseudonym, Johnny Blubberhead.
When I was a congressman from Illinois, I gave a blistering speech against the Mexican-American war where I referred to US soldiers as the “strong band of murderers and demons from hell …” That helped sink my early political ambitions.
Oh yes, one other thing, when I was 20 I wrote a poem about a boy marrying boy.
#14: If you keep or have ever kept a diary that contains anything that could … be a possible source of embarrassment to you, your family, or the President-Elect if it were made public, please describe.
I never kept a diary. However, a man recently claimed he found my dear friend, and one-time business partner, Joshua Speed’s diary.
That man, Larry Kramer, an outspoken gay-activist, says the diary is hidden away in Davenport, Iowa. No one has proved the diary’s existence, but Mr. Kramer claims it includes scandalous descriptions of a sexual affair between Mr. Speed and myself.
You should probably know about that.
#17: Have you or your spouse at any time belonged to any membership organizations … that … denied or restricted membership or affiliation based on race …?
Well, I don’t know about organizations, but my wife’s family owned black slaves.
#57: If applicable, please list the names … of cohabitants within the last ten years. A cohabitant is a person with whom you share bonds of affection, obligation, or other commitment, as opposed to a person with whom you live for reasons of convenience (roommate).
You know my friend Mr. Speed? Well, he and I shared a bed for four years. Later, I also shared a bed with my bodyguard, Captain David Dickerson. Rest assured I only invited him in my bed when my wife was away.
#61: Have you had any association with any person … that could be used—even unfairly—to impugn or attack your character and qualifications for government service.
I would consider it unfair, but you should probably know I hold Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in great regard. Of course, Gen. Grant is a known binge drinker and alcoholic. He lost his first military job after turning up drunk to a formal function.
I thought he was a damn fine general.
#62: Do you know anyone or any organization, either in the private sector or government service, that might take steps, overly or covertly, fairly or unfairly, to criticize your nomination …?
I never joined a church, so I suppose some people may object to that—and then there are the allegations of homosexuality.
#63: Please provide any other information, including information about other members of your family that could … be a possible source of embarrassment to you, your family, or the President-Elect.
I’m often taken with bouts of the blues. I’ve heard it called clinical depression.
Please keep in mind words I once said, and remain committed to:
If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how—the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what's said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.
(By the way, Wednesday, Nov. 19, is the 145th anniversary of President Lincoln's Gettysburg address—certainly among the best speeches ever delivered.)